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Exhibit Solicits 10 Artists’ Take on Nudes, a Centuries-Old Genre

By Margaret Failoni

The nude has been part of art history since the beginning of time, sometimes on rare occasions in religious art, such as a medieval seminude Christ on the cross, and sometimes in a more romantic version, as in the goddesses and courtesans of the Romantic and Baroque eras. But in the modern era, the use of nudity in art has greatly changed in its motivations.

Art historian Francis Berzelli says that contemporary artists are no longer interested in the ideals and traditions of the past in their use of nudes but instead in confronting the viewer with all the sexuality, discomfort, and anxiety that the unclothed body can express.

Sexuality in art is part of the attraction to the nude as a subject of art, for no nude, however abstract, should fail to arouse in the spectator some vestige of erotic feeling, faint as that may be. If not, it is “bad” art with false morals, according to renowned critic and art historian Sir Kenneth Clarke.

A new totally original group of artists are taking on the charged meanings of the nude and offering up their own interpretation of this genre:

Andrew Fisher is an American artist and renowned designer. His study of the male figure presents us with a highly original color palette and a superb use of grays, which surround the subjects with degrees of intimacy.

Hailing from Guadalajara, Conchita Rivera beautifully uses the difficult technique of the watercolor for studies of the human figure.

The Colombian painter Darío Ortiz is a master craftsman in the use of pastels to render the sensuous surface of the skin on his models.

Erica Corral is a superb draftsman of the human figure. She is from a family of extraordinary Mexican artists.

Ezshwan Winding is a gifted American artist and teacher who presents us with paintings from her series of nudes and food, finding the sensual connection between the two.

Jaime Shelley is an irreverent, tongue-in-cheek Mexican artist whose work never fails to provoke questions and smiles—a great sense of humor paired with a superb technique.

The Korean/American artist Jinna Park’s works consist mainly of nudes, always very sensuous with a generous portion of charm.

Raul Campo is the youngest talent with obvious influence by and devotion to the northern European masters of the past. His nudes are beautiful, solemn, and intriguing.

Guadalajara, land of tequila and great artists, gives us another talented son, the extraordinary Sergio Garval, with his always overpowering, dramatic damsels. Not since Wesselman’s strawberry nipples and Freud’s disconcerting nude portraits of the soul has the art of the nude been so abandoned. Hopefully, Garval’s exhibit will bring a smile to the face of the viewer and once again put the art of the nude in its true perspective.

Alejandro Rivera Leal is no newcomer to the San Miguel art scene. He will regale us with superb work, generally outlining the feminine world with a discreet nod to the masters of the past but with an updated contemporary use of color.



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